- Frankly speaking: Being able to get a “N.J. ripper” hot dog in the middle of the night on Tongren Lu. Hot damn!
- Taichi a day keeps the doctor away: Old men practicing early morning taichi in Chanfeng park, Putuo district, have been getting the blood circulating a little faster than normal. Reports abound of certain women offering their wares at 5 kuai a look, 15 a feel to the randy old fellas.
- Goooooooal: The lads from the Shanghai Saints (Shanghai’s premier Gaelic football team) beat the Tigers (Shanghai’s premier Aussie Rules Footbal team) to win this year’s International Rules series. International Rules is a cross between Gaelic Football and Aussie Rules, a fast-paced, full contact, take-no-prisoners game.
- Fringe Festival, take one: Cognac and Sausages, one of the (successful) programs of the Fringe Festival, allured audiences with excellent acting, a brilliant storyline and spectacular acrobatics.
- 4 Live, uh, Fabrique, uh, whatever: An enthusiastic turnout and a surprisingly solid lineup of musical acts for Shanghai’s newest old live music venue, 4 Live (Fabrique).
- Music ordinance shmordinance: Actually seeing live music at Tanghui for the first time in a long time on Friday night. It was nice to see Hassan play again. Of course, no drums (with sticks, at least), although they promise that is coming back too. And a new website to boot: tanghuibar.com.
- The world is still round, but… : Despite being preceded by some curiously syncopated stylings on the part of the moderator, America’s Favorite Columnist Thomas Friedman and his talk on the flattening of the world as we know it (metaphorically speaking, of course) managed to be both thought-provoking and immensely accessible. We still maintain that the man gets carried away at times with inflated axioms and hard-to-swallow anecdotes, but we can’t argue with this assessment: the “China Miracle” (his words, not ours) is like jumping off a plane—for awhile, you think you’re flying, but then you hit the wall. Splat. Props to Three Talk and Three on the Bund, who hosted the event.
Not so good
- One, two, three, eggplant!: Taking surreptitious photos of Germans on Tongren Lu, who then, suspecting that we had done so, asked us for money. How to interpret this? Do they think that since the Chinese only worship money and ask for money when they get their photos taken (like all people in third world countries) therefore, it’s only right for westerners to do the same when their picture is taken? The crux of the matter is that rather than being seen as a “western” photographer trying to nab a shot, we’re being characterized as an opportunistic Chinese photographer who only understands money. Or something.
- Power drills: More specifically, power drills that start six in the morning and go on till late at night RIGHT UPSTAIRS. Bastards.
- The answer, my friends, is blowin in the wind: 23 million people suffocating to death in China’s largest dustbowl. God, we wish it would rain. (Friedman called it “perma-fog,” a pretty apt description, we think.)
- Waterworld: Building waterpipes around Xinzha Lu and Taixing Lu is a no no. A crap ton of folks have been kicked out of their homes and stores, and no cabs or bikes can enter Taixing Lu from Xingzha Lu.
- Fringe Festival, take two: Anyone want to explain what in the world was happening in Stop, another one of the Fringe Festival’s (less-than-successful) programs? Hysterical dancing, a noisy background, and the narcissistic act of magnifying body parts on the project screen = total disaster.
- White Noise: The kinks in the sound system at the opening of 4 Live led to some crippling feedback. Ditto with So Much Soul on Thursday night. Can we get a sound technician up in here?
- Sounds of Silence: Um, where’s the audio for the announcers on Star Sports (on our satellite service)? We hear game noise and certain interviews, but never the announcers. We’re as opposed to talking heads and Michael Irvin as anyone else, but sometimes, it’s nice to have someone spell things out for you.
- All in a day’s work: After calling last Wednesday telling us that she wanted to raise rent — a mere three weeks before our lease expires — our landlady said that she needed to know whether we planned to stay or go — by Friday. What happened to a month’s notice in advance? According to her, she was sick, and then on vacation, and that it was our responsibility to inquire whether there would be a rent increase or not. Other classic quotes from her include: “I am very lazy.” “I don’t work hard.” But here’s the best exchange of all: “I have always been consistent.” Says us: “Consistently lazy?” Says she: “Yes.” Alright then. We are more than happy to share her name and property address. If you want it, just email us.
Photo by thumbs.dreamstime.com